History of Newcastle

Newcastle has a long and fascinating history, and is the cultural and historical focus for Northumberland.

Originally the first settlement arouse on the slopes of the hills overlooking the Tyne because it offered the lowest bridgeable point over the river. Later the Romans built Pont Aelius, which was guarded by a fort and was an integral part of Hadrians Wall, positioned near to the present day swing bridge.

During the Norman Conquest in 1080, William the Conqueror's natural son built a wooden castle on top of the Roman ruins, this was like the Romans before to push a boundary north and hold it. This 'New Castle' is from were the city took its name. By the time of Henry I in 1101 - 1135 Newcastle was already an important trading center. Later between 1168 and 1178 the Castle was entirely rebuilt in stone by Henry II.

However the city developed so rapidly during the 19th century that most of the ancient and historical buildings were demolished to make space for the new industries. Yet there is still evidence left of the past. From the Castle itself there is a well-preserved castle keep that can be visited, and gives good view over the Tyne from the top.